The Missing Pieces of the SME Financing Story

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Ensuring proper access to finance for SMEs has been a topical issue in the European debate since the outbreak of the financial crisis and is seen as a way to promote innovation, job creation and growth. Bureaucracy, taxation, macroeconomic factors, and country risk are only some of the variables influencing the ability of SMEs to access finance.

In order to take stock of the situation across a multitude of EU, national and regional initiatives which aim to influence these different variables, the European Capital Markets Institute (ECMI) organized a half-day conference on the 4th of December. The conference brought at the same table regulators, market participants and SMEs representatives to identify market failure and discuss which are the most effective available strategies to improve the access to finance for SMEs and which public policies and market-based initiatives can be developed to narrow the SMEs funding gap. In this context the recent research by ECMI on the definition of SMEs was presented, which allows to better inform economic policy aimed at SMEs.